Curriculum Overview

new pillars

We aim to provide, for all students in all Key Stages, a broad and balanced curriculum which not only encompasses those elements required by law, but which broadens, enriches and stimulates individual learning.

Additionally, at all Key Stages there is an extra-curricular programme that provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills and interests further. There is also the opportunity to undertake a wide range of leadership roles.


7K7A1202   7K7A1747   7K7A1836


Timetable Structure

We operate a 50 period 2-week timetable with lessons lasting 1 hour and all students receive one hour of PSHEC per week.  This is complemented by a 15 minute tutor or assembly session at the beginning of each day.


Key Stage 3

Students in Year 7 - are taught in Mixed Ability groups for the duration of the year.  

Students in Year 8 - Maths are blocked against Science, Computing and Music whereas English are blocked against Drama, Art, History, MFL and RE. There are four ability tiers in Maths and three ability tiers in English.


English Based Setting

Maths and Science Based Setting


2 groups of equal ability (A,P)

2 groups of equal ability (A,P)

4 groups of equal ability (H,J,S,T)

2 groups of equal ability (H,S)

2 groups of equal ability (J,T)

2 groups of equal ability (M,V)

2 groups of equal ability (M,V)


Students in Year 9 - English are blocked against RE, MFL, Geography, History, Art and Drama whereas Science are blocked against Computing and Music. Maths is blocked on its own and there are ten teaching sets in Maths and eight for the English and Science block. 


English Based Setting

Maths and Science Based Setting


2 groups of equal ability (A,P)

2 groups of equal ability (A,P)

4 groups of equal ability (H,J,S,T)

2 groups of equal ability (H,S)

2 groups of equal ability (J,T)

2 groups of equal ability (M,V)

2 groups of equal ability (M,V)


Maths Based Setting

2 groups of equal ability (A,P)
2 groups of equal ability (H,S)
2 groups of equal ability (J,T)
2 groups of equal ability (K,V)
2 groups of equal ability (M,W)


Key Stage 4

In KS4, the number of English and RE sets from September 2021 have been increased from 8 to 10 sets. This is to facilitate a reduction in class size within these subjects as the students continue with the Recovery Curriculum post-pandemic. This will enable us to meet the needs of all learners so that they are able to progress to their full potential. 

Students are set separately for Maths and PE, and Option subjects are taught in mixed-ability groups as per the table below.


Subject  Setting 

 10 classes with students set using attainment in Maths

 This supports preparation for tiered assessments, either Higher or Foundation


 8 classes studying Science - set using attainment in Science

 This supports preparation for tiered assessments, either Higher or Foundation   and two pathways of Triple and Combined Science 


 Students are taught in mixed ability classes based on students' option choices. 


 8 classes – set using attainment in PE

 English-based   block

 10 classes studying English and RE (for current Year 10)

 Students are set using attainment in English


All Key Stage 5 subjects are selected by students with the exception of GCSE English Language and Maths resits. If a student has not achieved at least a grade 4 at Key Stage 4 then they need to continue studying either GCSE English or Maths until they achieve a minimum grade of 4.

Key Stage 5

In KS5 the teaching is in mixed ability groups; there is no setting.


Key Stage 3 - 5 Curriculum Summary 

(The numbers in brackets indicate the number of periods per 2-week cycle allocated to that subject)

Students receive an additional period of Reading and PE per fortnight in Year 7.  In Year 8 students receive an additional period of Art and Drama and in Year 9 this is Music and Science.   This model allows students' increased access to the Arts in addition to a focus on students' physical and mental well being with more time for PE.  Protected time for reading will also address the loss of learning as a result of lockdown and there are also other benefits with respect to mental health e.g. more time for performance and group work (Music and Drama). The increased time for Science will allow students more time to engage in practical work.


Key Stage 5 Curriculum 

In Year 12 Sixth Form students study a personalised programme of courses, which has been determined after interviews with Senior Leaders. Usually this programme consists of three Level 3 subjects of study (either A Levels, BTEC Diplomas or a combination of the two) or one T Level (from September 2022) which is the equivalent of 3 A Levels. Students may also undertake enrichment courses e.g. Extended Project Qualification (Level 3; equivalent to half an A Level.)

‘A’ Level and BTEC National Diploma, Certificate and Extended Certificate courses are taught for nine periods per 2-week cycle and BTEC Double National Diploma courses have eighteen periods per 2-week cycle.

We also offer Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Hospitality.

From September 2022, we will deliver our first T Level which will be in Health and Science and this will be followed by another in Business and Management from 2023.

In line with national requirements, if a student has not achieved a grade 4 in GCSE Maths or English at KS4, they will continue to study these subjects, until they have achieved a grade 4.

For further information regarding the Sixth Form please click here

As a Roman Catholic Sixth Form, the spiritual development and engagement of our students is a priority. All students in the Sixth Form have one timetabled Core RE lesson per week to continue to study, discuss and explore areas of Theology, Philosophy, Ethics and Spirituality within Modern Britain.  Attendance at these lessons is a requirement of each student but there is no set homework, coursework or formal examination.  Students are assessed to ensure that they are progressing in confidence and ability as young women who engage with issues and people from a spiritual perspective within a Catholic school and culture. 

All 6th Form students participate in our “Future Pathways Programme” as part of the PSHEC programme that covers Higher Education & Careers, PSHE, and Citizenship.

If you wish to find out more about the curriculum our school is following please email and view the curriculum policy below.

Curriculum Policy 2021 - 2022

St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls

Shorts Road

Carshalton Surrey


T: 020 8642 2025


For general enquiries please mail:

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.